Disability Travel to Africa, PWD’s friendly Safari Holidays, PWD’s friendly Accommodation in Africa, PWD’s Uganda Safaris, PWD’s Gorilla Safaris, PWD’s friendly tour Operators in Uganda.
Disability Travel, also known as “disabled travel”, “accessible travel”, and or “Inclusive travel”, is on the rise but yet still under serviced in Africa. Realm Africa Safaris is one of the few local tour operators striving to make it possible for all to travel. The Uganda travel industry comprised of hotel owners and service providers are also beginning to wake up to disabled travelers’ special needs through the provision of Fully inclusive PWD’s friendly services, and PWD’s – Persons with disability friendly accommodation.
TRAVEL TIPS FOR DISABILITY TRAVEL
1) Plan ahead.
As earlier mentioned, there are not many PWD’s friendly hotels well spread out in Uganda, or East Africa meaning that prior planning is highly recommended. This helps allows Realm Africa Safaris or any other disability travel agent of your choice ample time to plan whilst putting into consideration all your individual – special needs as mentioned to us. Don’t be bothered, Realm Africa Safaris has a Special needs – disability travel form that helps us collect all relevant information about the nature of your disability and any other interests or information to facilitate us in better understanding your special needs.
2) Be specific and clear when describing a disability.
Not all service providers know the “lingo” of accessible, Inclusive, PWD’s, or Disability travel, or the medical terms for certain conditions. Give as many details as you can about what you can and can’t do, and don’t downplay the severity of the disability. The more information a service provider has, the better they will be able to accommodate you. If they promise you certain accommodations, try to get these promises in writing.
3) Be specific and clear when describing the trip to your doctor.
A doctor can often prescribe measures for coping with an unusually long flight, limited medical facilities at your destination, the unavailability of prescription drugs and other pitfalls of disability travel. Be prepared – in some cases, your doctor may question your advice and knowledge on medication prior to travel. For more information, please read Medication for travel – we advise that us listen.
4) Bring with you a doctor’s note and phone number(s).
Disability Travel, covers both physical and intellectual disabilities that not all airline or immigration persons will be able to understand but with a statement from your doctor, preferably on letterhead, covering your condition, medications, potential complications, special needs and other pertinent information and a functional emergency telephone number – we recommend having your doctors 24/7 mobile number.
1) Pack & bring extra medication.
We advise that you travel with two complete packages of essential medication in case of emergency. Store all medications and other necessary medical supplies in your carry-on bag.
2) Investigate physician availability a where you will be traveling.
Usually, your doctor, health care provider, insurance company or local embassy can provide the names and contact numbers of physicians at your destination. We too are willing to help you acquire all relevant information on this matter. For more information, please read; Health Care Abroad.
3) Medical – Alert-Information.
At all times, we recommend that you carry your medical alert information, preferably in a place that a medical professional or anyone who assists you will find easily (wallet card, necklace, close to your identification).
4) Book with a Specialist Travel Agent.
Consider using a specialist travel agent. Some agents provide stellar niche services; one might be very experienced in working with hearing-impaired travelers, another with developmentally impaired travelers. Since the requirements for these varied travelers can be staggeringly different, it helps to find someone who knows the ropes – Visit Association of Uganda Tour Operators Association (AUTO) to find out if the agent you are dealing is a member.
5) Wisely Choose your Flights.
While booking for disability travel, we advise that you avoid connecting flights. Although wheelchairs are the last items to be checked into the luggage compartments, and thus first to be pulled off, flying direct can save you unnecessary time and hassle. However, we have observed one exceptional circumstance: If the airplane’s lavatories are hard to maneuver into, then long flights may become uncomfortable – so a series of shorter flights might be a recommended option. If you do choose to connect, be sure to allow plenty of time between flights (we’d recommend at least 90 minutes, or two hours if you need to go through customs or security) to get from one gate to another.
TOP SURVIVAL TIPS FOR DISABILITY TRAVEL
1) Always allow plenty of time before your flight to check in, get through security and transfer to your gate. Arrive at least two (02) hours before a domestic flight and three (03) hours before an international flight most especially if you’re traveling at a peak time.
2) Check in with your flight attendant before your airplane lands to make a proper plan for an exit that will save you time if connecting.
3) Don’t forget about transportation to and from the airport. If you have a wheelchair, make arrangements in advance to have an accessible vehicle pick you up from the airport.
4) Bring spare parts and tools. Wheelchairs can take tremendous breakdown while traveling especially on interconnecting flights; assemble a small kit of spare parts and tools for emergency repairs. You may also be required to dismantle a wheelchair for certain flights or activities; make sure you and your traveling companions know how to do this.
5) Know your rights. Before going through airport security, be aware of the TSA’s rules for travelers with disabilities and medical conditions.
6) Be creative. one of a renown traveler who has a mobility disability suggested, of course after trying it out: “When traveling by car, I can use a bariatric walker in lieu of grab bars in the bathroom. You simply walk it up to the toilet, put it in place against the toilet, turn around, sit down and you have sturdy arms to use for getting up. It’s a little uncomfortable but is fine for travel.” she notes that this tip works best with large, sturdy walkers that have hand holds designed to help people rise, not just walk: “I would never use my regular walker to get up from a toilet,” she wrote. (Here’s an example of this type of walker.)